5 Secrets to More Color at Home

#MeetTheMindells: Nine Months Out!


I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that February is headed out the door, can you!? As we near the beginning of March, I figured it was high time for another wedding update! According to the reader survey thus far, you all are interested in more wedding posts, so that I shall bring you! All in all, it’s continued to be a whirlwind, but we’ve made a lot of progress since our first update that I’m excited to share! WOOHOO! Here we go!

Palm Springs Wedding

Our venue! This whole bougainvillea/french door situation sold us on it.

What We’ve Done

-We’ve secured hotels for our guests! We’ve been able to rent out a small hotel in Palm Springs for our bridal party and close family, and we’ve gotten a room block at a hotel for our guests. That was quite a process, so we are so glad that it is DONE!

– Music-wise, we have hired a Mariachi band for our cocktail hour!!!! I am probably the most excited about this, even though Jeff and I will largely miss it while taking photos (We’re very insistent about not seeing each other before the wedding. I’ve heard every story and reason for doing a first look, but it makes us both uncomfortable, so we’re going traditional there!) Now, we’re in the process of securing a DJ! Yes! I pretty much envision myself dancing for the entire wedding, so this is top priority!

-PAPER!!!! Ok, next to flowers… this is what I am most excited about. As I mentioned before, it also terrifies me the most. This is my one chance to have the save the date, the invitation of my dreams! And I have so very many dreams! Luckily, I’ve chosen a pretty spectacular team to make those plentiful dreams come true!!!! We’ll be working with Claudia of Fig. 2 Design, who I have adored for so long! She has some pretty spectacular ideas and is about to get started on our Save the Dates! Goodness, I can’t WAIT to share them with you! We’ll also be working with Lauren of A Fabulous Fete! I am such a fan-girl of Lauren’s calligraphy, and I’ve had her tapped (in my head) for wedding calligraphy ever since I was first introduced to her work. Her gorgeous calligraphy will be incorporated into the designs themselves in addition to addressing the envelopes! AH! The dream team keeps on growing.

-We have formulated a design plan! Melissa and Sydney at Bash have taken everything we love and our ideas and formulated them into an amazing design plan for the day! It’s funny, everyone wants to know “What colors are you using?” and I really don’t like describing my wedding in that way. Everyone is used to hearing “pink and black” or “yellow and gray,” but I’ve never just wanted two or three colors to define my wedding. So, while we aren’t ready to share a full vision of the plan just yet, I’ll describe it as this instead… It will be a day of soft peach and blush, of gold, of delicious wood tones, of a few pops of black and berry hues for contrast, and of bold floral textures abound. And we are darn excited about it!

Studio DIY Plans a Wedding

Keep following along with my Pinterest board!

What We Need to Do

-Start to finalize catering. Since our last update, we’ve made progress! We’ve seen a few proposals and have one tasting scheduled so far! Jeff is most excited about this, of course, so he’ll be taking the reigns on that one!

-Start dress shopping! My mom will be making a trip out here next month and I’ve made several appointments at local bridal shops. It’s tough for me. I don’t want a traditional dress, and a lot of the dresses in the style I want are just above my price range. I’m excited to see what’s out there, but I’m also seriously considering working with an Etsy designer to make the dress of my dreams! It will be interesting to see how this shakes out!

-We need to register! More about that below!

-We need to officially ask our bridal party! I know, it’s shocking we haven’t done this yet, but it was very important to me to ask them in a fun, but formal way. I didn’t want to just send a text message or do it over a phone call. Plans are now underway, so we’ll officially officially have our bridal party behind us SOON! If they all say yes that is… 😉

-We need to start building our wedding website! We’re going to be working with Squarespace for our wedding website and I am really excited to share more about it soon! Our goal is to get this all done and ready by the time our save the dates go out.

Donut Date

I won’t lie. We’ve eaten our feelings a few times.

How We’re Feeling About It

We were pretty happy to get past the “choosing the guest list” headache, but a bit of budget stress kicked in over the last month. Jeff and I are very frugal people. We aren’t rolling in it over here, and we don’t spend a lot. Heck,  I just bought my first pair of shoes in years that cost more than $12. So when we think about how much money we’re spending on one day, it’s a lot to handle. Luckily, I think we have begun to understand that this is an important day and that money is working to create an amazing experience for our guests, and amazing memories for us! Right now, the stress seems to have settled and we’re going full force into knocking out as many items as we can!

Studio DIY Plans a Wedding

So, is it normal/acceptable to just move in to your wedding venue?

Help! (Or, Questions for You Hitched Folks!)

First of all, thank you so much for all the awesome honeymoon suggestions! We honestly haven’t even had time to start really researching the honeymoon, but I can’t wait to revisit all your ideas when we do!

Our biggest question right now is on registries! Frankly, most of the typical “registerable” items I don’t like at all, or we already have! So, we are looking into alternative registry options. I’m curious, have any of you used In our research, it seems like this is a great option for registering at many (online) stores at once, and at stores that don’t offer traditional registries, too. I would love to know if any of you guys have experience with it, or if you have used other non-traditional registry sites!

And on that note, I’m so curious about this too. Hopefully I don’t regret putting this out there! Jeff and my biggest goal at the moment is to save for a house. And since we currently live in a tiny apartment, filled to the brim with the household items we do have already, we’ve come across the rather new concept of “registering” to have wedding gifts help towards a down payment. From the people I’ve already spoken to about the idea, it seems pretty controversial. Is it inappropriate to ask for money? Do people really just want to give you a tangible gift? I understand both those points, and the last thing we’d want to do is offend or upset our guests. We will register for a few items regardless, but all in all, we have different priorities than many other engaged couples. So I’m dying to know, where do you stand on this? Would you be appalled if you were invited to a wedding and the couple was asking for help towards a down payment? Or would you just be happy to help the couple towards a larger goal? Weigh in!!!!

And that is how the last month or so of planning went! Shew! Sounds like I’m gonna have some big things to update you guys on next time. Yay! Right now, I’m on my way to Palm Springs, ironically, but not for wedding-related meetings this time. That’s right, Meet/Make/Do kicks off today!!!! And I can’t wait to share more about that with you guys as well! ‘Till then!


  • Lucy

    Sounds like you’ve got amazing ideas for your wedding, what an exciting time! I don’t think it’s inappropriate for you to ask guests to contribute to a down payment – most couples live together before they get married, so they don’t need a lot of the traditional gifts that would normally go on a register. If I was one of your guests, I would be super happy to know that I was helping you buy your dream home, the same way as I would be if you were asking for a contribution towards a once in a lifetime honeymoon. I’ve given money at plenty of weddings and will continue to be happy to do this!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Lucy! You’re right, so many traditional gifts aren’t as relevant now that so many live together before marriage!!

  • Alyssa

    A lot of people (especially the older ones) still think it’s inappropriate to ask/register for monetary gifts. I’m not dead-set against it, but I’m also your age, so I think it’s a generational thing. One way to get around it is to register at a typical department store where you would also buy furniture (if you’ll need it for your eventual home, which I know we did when we went from apartments to house)- like a Macy’s, where you can register for a bunch of items in the $30-$100 range, and then return those items (they give you a year to do so) and purchase a couch or rugs from them with the money. Just a thought!


    • Kelly

      Alyssa! That’s so smart! We actually thought about just registering for furniture, but know that most pieces will be too pricey for guests to purchase on their own. But this idea! Genius!

  • Jen

    I think alternative registries are pretty cool. I’ve helped pay for many friends’ honeymoons through HoneyFund. What I don’t like is when the alternative registry is the only registry. I recently went to a wedding where their only registry was HoneyFund and nothing was under $100. I couldn’t afford to give them that much, so I ended up buying them really nice champagne glasses. Hopefully they liked them.

    While most people would be embarrassed to only give $25 toward a down payment on a house or a honeymoon, a $25 gift from a store can be quite nice. Giving people that option will allow people who don’t like the idea of an alternative registry an opportunity to get you something you want.

    • Kelly

      I totally agree Jen! We would definitely have a more traditional registry option in addition to a downpayment fund. There are definitely a few things we need still, and this is a really great point!

  • Joanna

    We asked for money for our wedding day. We did it in a really nice way in with our invitations, we used a poem. I can’t remember what the exact wording was but the basis of it was ‘we value your presence so much more than your presents, but if you would like to contribute to our deposit, we would be thrilled’ we also left it open for people to bring tangible gifts if they preferred. We ended up with 90% of the guests giving money and 10% preferring to give gifts, which was totally fine. Nobody was offended either!

    • Kelly

      That’s great to hear! Makes me feel better hearing people successfully going a non-traditional route!!! The poem idea is a great touch. =)

  • Lynne

    I have to say, registering for a down payment on a house is a wonderful idea. So easy for guests too. I hear about so many people who register at Crate and Barrel and then just return everything after the wedding for the money because they didn’t need the gifts but they didn’t have any other options. Saving a trip to Crate and Barrel sounds pretty awesome for the gift giver too. The only thing that would bother me about this plan is if the couple did not use the money for the specified purpose. I know of someone who registered for honeymoon money and then didn’t go on a honeymoon and used the money for furniture. For some reason the dishonesty bothered me. If they had registered for furniture money in the first place I would have been fine with it.

    • Kelly

      Absolutely! I would never want guests to feel that we used their money for something they didn’t intend. As a guest, I wouldn’t be happy about that either! We’ll definitely need to make sure we “register” in a way that it’s clear what the money will go towards, and keep it that way!

  • Katy

    Oooooh, tricky! Personally, I would feel uncomfortable asking for money instead of gifts or being asked as a guest for money instead of gifts. BUT! Lynne’s comment above makes it seem like a really nice way of wording it and makes it seem not so bad. And if you really think about it, giving money for a down payment is so much more practical than a cheese tray or whatever. I would just feel bad for guests who are already spending a lot of money to travel to Palm Springs and would feel pressured to also give a donation higher than they were planning to spend on a gift. Especially for the wedding party who has even more expenses associated with your wedding. Maybe you can have something on your wedding website where they can select how much they’d like to give with various amounts, starting small (like $25) so they don’t feel like they HAVE to give a large donation. Tough call! Best of luck! I can’t wait to see how your day comes together.

    • Kelly

      I think the idea of having various amounts, including smaller amounts is so smart to make everyone feel comfortable! Didn’t think of that but I LOVE that idea. Thanks, Katy!!!!

  • Terrie

    I would be totally fine with the couple requesting their “gift” be money towards a house down-payment (or furniture, honeymoon, etc.). I also think sounds like a great way to register for actual items that your guests can purchase if they don’t feel comfortable gifting money. Looking forward to the next update on your plans =)

    Have fun at Meet/Make/Do!

    • Kelly

      Thanks Terrie! Glad you like the looks of! I think it’ll be a great pairing with a down-payment fund if we go for it!

  • erinkathleen

    love the wedding update! there’s so much work that goes into the day, but it is SO worth it. I have the fondest memories from my wedding, and I’ve forgotten (most of) the stress that went into the decisions, and instead remember the beautiful outcome and of course our friends and families.

    We used Amazon mainly for our registry. They have a universal add-on button, so you can add things from other websites. Though I think they also suggest items on Amazon if the same item is offered. We’ve had several friends that registered for honeymoon expenses rather than traditional items. There are several websites you can use, but my friends used I thought it was a great idea because rather than just giving them a lump sum of money, you could buy them a dinner at a nice restaurant, a bistro lunch, or a daily bike rental. There was a lot of customization available, and it gave us some idea of what they had planned for their honeymoon.

    I think if you offer both options, you shouldn’t offend anyone. These days so many couples already live together, and have the basics they need already, so I didn’t feel like I needed to register for things to ‘set up’ a house. There were a few special items that I registered for, knowing that I wouldn’t buy them myself, but we really didn’t need a whole lot.

    • Kelly

      Jeff’s cousin recently used Amazon for her registry too and it was great (from a guest’s perspective)! I need to look further into it, since I’m such an Amazon junkie already, it would make sense! 😉 And I love that HoneyFund lets you buy different experiences for the honeymoon. It definitely makes it a nice compromise between a tangible gift and straight cash!

  • Em

    how very exciting!

  • Gucki

    I think you have to be absolute free to choose your registering! You are going to do a big step in your life and people who loves you surely want to stand at your side in that day and in your goals. House is a big deal! Go ahead! We also made a not conventional registering… we asked for money but we tried to do make it funnier: we made a list with what we would bought with the money! If you would like to have a look this was our wedding day site:


  • Adriana

    I think that is a great way to register! It’s really helpful for guests to have a variety of things to choose from. I also think that “registering” for a house is a fine idea! It’s not for everyone but if it’s right for you two, that’s what you should do. A lot of people give money anyway, so why not put it towards something!

    • Kelly

      Thanks, Adriana! That was our thinking too, if so many people give money regardless, why not let them know it’s going towards something really important to us!

  • Amy Nalette

    For some reason it really bothers me when people ask for money toward a honeymoon, house etc. The thing is, a lot of people will probably just give money anyways, so I think it’s better not to say what you’re planning on using it for. I would register for the things you really do need (even if it’s a short list) and just return gifts you don’t need/want to get the money. I usually give a gift at the shower and then give money at the actual wedding.

    I have a friend who had an alternate wedding registry where people could give donations toward purchasing a certain gift that was shown. However, my friend told me that the site actually just gave them all the money at the end so they could buy whatever they wanted. I wish she hadn’t told me that (bc I think it’s really tacky…especially if you think you’re helping the couple buy much needed items when in reality they’re just banking). But I suppose if people don’t know, there’s no harm.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

    • Niki

      I totally agree with Amy. As a certified wedding coordinator (in canada), I too still find it inappropriate to ask for money; especially asking with a ‘poem’ or somewhat clever way.

      In my opinion, guests who are coming to your wedding will know your situation – they see that you live together and know it would be most appropriate to give a monetary gift. Still register for some things that you are interested in, and of course so people have a place to go when looking for shower gifts – but keep it small and people will understand what you are ultimately hoping for.

      Good Luck!

      • Kelly

        That is definitely still our hesitation! We would never want to offend anyone. Good thinking that if we keep the list small, people may just understand what we are ultimately looking for. Ah, decisions, decisions!!

    • Kelly

      Yikes! That’s what scares me about some of these alternate registry sites. I want to make sure if someone is buying something specific, that that is what the money goes towards! I’ll definitely need to research it more!!!

  • They So Loved Events – Non traditional registry. Pretty limitless….you can add items you “want” and the cost and people will give cash – paypal integration. Plus the site is pretty 🙂 – Save for a home registry – it exists!

    Down side of all of this is they take a cut, so you don’t make as much as you would had they just given cash.

    Lots of great wedding planning progress so far! Also, we didn’t do a first look and we were still able to enjoy around 20 minutes of the cocktail hour. Your planner and photographer will be all over it to help make sure that you finish pictures quickly. Have a shot list prepared for the photographer in advance – it helps.

    • Kelly

      That’s SO interesting! Haven’t researched enough yet to see that they take a cut. Huh! And so glad to hear you were able to pop in to your cocktail hour! We’ll definitely have a shot list ready to roll so we can hopefully do the same!!

  • Claireabellemakes

    In the UK it is becoming more and more common for people to ask for money as a gift for weddings. The first time I went to a wedding where the couple asked for money, I was a bit taken aback by it. I went to one once where we were asked for money towards a honeymoon and they asked in a poem. However, it was like a honeymoon registry and we purchased specific trips and excursions for them. In the end we purchased a helicopter ride over the grand canyon for them and it felt really fun.

    I agree with Niki above, most people attending will know your situation and will understand you don’t need a whole ton of stuff. I think it seems wise to offer money and gift ideas for your guests and then people can choose what they feel comfortable with and you get the best of both worlds.

    Loving your updates!

    • Kelly

      So true, we keep forgetting that all our guests and friends and family and will know we just don’t need some of the basics we already have!

  • April

    PLEASE do not “register” for cash!

    As you mentioned, you are somewhat traditional, and you should not fall into this modern trap. My opinion is- It is rude and very tacky. Guests are invited to celebrate your day with you and are not obligated to bring a gift at all. Ms. Manners would remind you that any registry of sorts should not be included on the invitation. Those who know you well enough should know that you’re saving for a house, and may want to contribute on their own. Those who don’t know that you’re saving, should not be informed of this with your hand out!

    I really think our generation (I’m 30) is making everything too casual these days and forgetting our manners. Please consider the tradional route on this choice.

    • Kelly

      I completely agree and we won’t be putting registry info on the invitation! We’ll be leaving that to our website, which I hope is less tacky nowadays! And I actually also agree that our generation is making everything too casual, especially when it comes to weddings, even outside of registries! Love hearing your honest thoughts on this as we make a tough decision! Thanks April!

  • Kaelyn

    I have been to several weddings recently where they have asked for things that are not traditional. One couple was making renovations to their home and asked for gift cards to Lowe’s. Another couple had a honeymoon fund, and another called it a rainy day fund. I think it’s fine to ask for whatever you need! I like the traditional gift giving, but with so many couples getting married later in life they just don’t need the traditional wedding gifts anymore.

    The only downside to asking for money is you won’t have the physical gift that will remind you of your guests down the road. Ex. Aunt Linda gave you those wonderful champagne glasses at your wedding and every time you use them you think of her.

    Personally, I would rather give the couple something they really wanted than have them take back a gift they didn’t want in the first place. If someone is offended by what you need or would like as a gift then they don’t have to participate! I say do what suits you best as a couple!

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